|Publication number||US5947167 A|
|Application number||US 08/887,178|
|Publication date||Sep 7, 1999|
|Filing date||Jul 2, 1997|
|Priority date||May 11, 1992|
|Publication number||08887178, 887178, US 5947167 A, US 5947167A, US-A-5947167, US5947167 A, US5947167A|
|Inventors||Steven A. Bogen, Herbert H. Loeffler|
|Original Assignee||Cytologix Corporation|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (53), Non-Patent Citations (7), Referenced by (166), Classifications (40), Legal Events (10)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application is a Continuation-in-Part of U.S. Ser. No. 08/251,597, filed May 31, 1994, now U.S. Pat. No. 5,645,114 which is a Continuation-in-Part of application Ser. No. 07/881,397 which was filed on May 11, 1992, now U.S. Pat. No. 5,316,452. The contents of all of the above noted related applications are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.
This invention relates to a pump mechanism for dispensing small aliquots of a fluid, such as a biological reagent. It may serve as part of an apparatus which dispenses a plurality of reagents to be dispensed in small volumes.
Current methods for dispensing reagents generally use pumps which require the priming of tubing lines leading into and out of a pump. When the pumping is finished, the tubing lines must be flushed before a different reagent can be pumped, lest cross-contamination of reagents occur. Because of the need for priming and clearing tubing lines, such types of pumps are not easily interchangeable.
Pumping systems using a syringe housing ("syringe pumps") are well known to those in the field. The syringe is first filled with a liquid. The liquid can then be accurately dispensed by applying a precise pressure on the plunger, usually by an electromechanical actuator. The distance that the plunger is depressed directly controls the amount of fluid to be dispensed. Such syringe pumps have two advantages: 1) the absence of tubing lines leading into and out of a pump which must be primed and flushed, and 2) a separation of the wetted components from the electromechanical controlling elements.
Such syringe pumps are useful in situations where repetitive dispensing of precise amounts of liquid are required. A drawback of such syringe pumps is that interchanging syringes on a single electromechanical actuator requires that the actuator mechanism be realigned with the position of the syringe plunger that is being inserted. In circumstances where the syringes need to be changed often in order to change the dispensed reagent, the need for repetitive manual intervention to align the electromechanical actuator with the position of the syringe plunger is a disadvantage. This disadvantage will be more acutely felt in a dispensing instrument with many electromechanical actuators.
In accordance with an aspect of the present invention, a pump cartridge comprises a reagent reservoir for containing a liquid. The reservoir has a liquid flow outlet at the bottom thereof. A metering chamber is directly connected to the liquid flow outlet of the reagent reservoir. The metering chamber comprises a compressible housing having a noncompressed shape. A one-way inlet valve and a one-way outlet valve are provided at respective ends of the compressible housing and are aligned in the same direction to allow unidirectional flow from the reservoir through the housing. The compressible housing may be compressed for the unidirectional ejection of a volume of liquid from the metering chamber. The compressible housing returns to the noncompressed shape after cessation of compression to draw an additional volume of liquid into the metering chamber.
A cartridge pump in accordance with the present invention may be used as a component of a movable platform containing a plurality of electromechanical actuators. In this manner, any desired liquid reagent contained in any of the cartridges can be dispensed at any location underneath the platform's reach. Alternatively, the present invention includes a rotor containing reagents and a rotor containing slides that rotate on the same axis. A single actuator is located on a station enabling the slides to be accessed by the reagents. At the end of the working session, the cartridges can be easily replaced with different cartridges using the same electromechanical actuators without the need for aligning electromechanical actuators with the cartridges. This aspect increases the versatility of the dispensing instrument as a whole.
In a dispensing assembly, a pump cartridge frame may hold the pump cartridge in a fixed position with respect to an actuator capable of compressing the compressible housing of the pump cartridge. Preferably, the actuator is an electromechanical actuator. The dispensing assembly may be mounted on a moveable platform for dispensing various reagents in various sample cells. In one embodiment, a plurality of electromechanical actuators are positioned adjacent to a plurality of receptacles on the frame into which a plurality of pump cartridges can be fit.
The cartridge may have one or more ridges extending outwardly from its external surface to serve as keys in grooves in a supporting frame. Cartridges may be coded by the circumferential positions of ridges to assure that cartridges containing particular reagents are inserted in appropriate locations in the frame.
According to another aspect of the invention, a dispensing assembly comprises an assembly base and a slide rotor adapted to carry a plurality of slides holding tissue samples. This slide rotor is capable of rotating on the assembly base. Further, a reagent rotor adapted to carry a plurality of different reagents sits above the slide rotor and is also capable of rotating on the assembly base.
In preferred embodiments, slide frames are provided for holding the slides in the slide rotor. The slide frames are radially insertable into the slide rotor. These slide frames themselves comprise a slide frame base adapted to support a plurality of slides and containing resistive heating units for heating each one of these slides. A thermocouple can also be provided to detect the temperature of the slides as heated by the resistive heating units. A slide frame housing is adapted to sealably fit over the slide frame base to create cavities over each of the slides and place each of these slides in fluid isolation from each other.
The reagent rotor carries at least one pump cartridge frame that comprises a plurality of receptacles for receiving a plurality of cartridge pumps. These cartridge pumps comprise a reservoir for containing a reagent, a resilient metering chamber in fluid communication with an outlet of the reservoir and a one way inlet valve and one way outlet valve at each end of the resilient metering chamber.
The dispensing assembly further comprises a dispensing station positioned adjacent to each of the slide rotor and the reagent rotor. This dispensing station comprises an actuator adapted to deform the resilient metering chamber in a cartridge pump so that a volume of reagent contained in that cartridge pump is ejected into a slide underneath the cartridge pump held by the slide rotor. This dispensing station also includes a plurality of pressurized rinse bottles and rinse tubes that extend from the rinse station above the slides held by the slide rotor. As such, they can convey rinsing solutions by the opening of pinch valves to the slides underneath the ends of the rinse tubes. Still further, the dispensing station includes a vacuum bottle and vacuum hose that is extendable into a cavity above the slides on the slide rotor to enable removal of rinse solutions covering the slides.
According to another aspect, the reagent reservoir of the cartridge pumps may contain a plunger above the liquid in the reagent reservoir. The plunger is capable of moving within the reservoir as liquid is drawn out of the reservoir through the liquid flow outlet. Preferably, the plunger has a frictional force against the inner wall of the reservoir which is greater than the gravity pressure of the liquid in the reservoir in order to prevent spontaneous dripping of the liquid out of the outlet valve. Alternatively, the outlet valve in its normally closed position may itself have an opening pressure which is greater than the gravity pressure applied by the liquid in the reservoir. Alternatives to the plunger include a one-way valve at the top of the reservoir, a rolling diaphragm at the top of the reservoir and a small aperture at the top of the reservoir.
To reduce the flow velocity of liquid during ejection, a nozzle with an inner diameter which is greater than the opening diameter of the outlet valve may be positioned below the outlet valve.
To absorb some of the initial force upon impact of the actuator against the tubing, the actuator may be a compressible piston hammer mounted on a piston arm.
The interchangeable pump cartridge of the present invention can be accepted into a dispensing assembly with an electromechanical actuator regardless of the amount of liquid in the cartridge reservoir. The cartridge maintains a separation of the wetted and electromechanical components and does not require priming of tubing lines before and after pumping. Moreover, it may be produced inexpensively and therefore can be disposed of when the reagent in the cartridge is exhausted. As a further advantage over syringe pumps, the cartridge pump of the present invention allows for dispersing of relatively small, precisely metered volumes.
The foregoing and other objects, features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following more particular description of preferred embodiments of the invention, as illustrated in the accompanying drawings in which like reference characters refer to the same parts throughout the different views. The drawings are not necessarily to scale, emphasis instead being placed upon illustrating the principles of the invention.
FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional view of the pump cartridge and dispensing actuator mounted on a frame.
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the pump cartridge reservoir.
FIG. 3 is a view from above of the pump cartridge.
FIG. 4 is a view from above of a plurality of pump cartridges mounted on a first embodiment dispensing assembly including a rectangular frame and chassis of an X-Y axis robot.
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a dispensing assembly of a second embodiment of the invention.
FIG. 6 is a top view of a slide frame for providing five sealed cavities above five different slides holding tissue samples.
FIG. 7 is a top view of a slide frame base.
FIG. 8 is a top view of a slide frame housing.
FIG. 9 is a side cross-sectional view showing the dispensing actuator of the dispensing station and an exemplary cartridge pump being engaged by the dispensing actuator.
FIG. 10 is a side cross-sectional view of a rinse device housed in the dispensing station.
FIGS. 11A and 11B are side cross-sectional views of a vacuum hose and transport mechanism for removing rinse and reagent from slides contained on the slide rotor.
FIGS. 12-14 are cross-sectional views of the uppermost portion of the cartridge reservoir, demonstrating alternative constructions.
FIGS. 15 and 16 are longitudinal sectional views of an alternative dispenser pump cartridge embodying the invention.
FIG. 17 is a longitudinal sectional view of the metering chamber tubing of the embodiment of FIGS. 15 and 16.
FIG. 18 is a cross-sectional view of a valve needle and plate used in the embodiment of FIGS. 15 and 16.
Referring to FIG. 1, the cartridge pump CP comprises a pump cartridge reservoir 1 in the shape of a cylindrical barrel. The cartridge reservoir 1 has a lower outlet 11 which is directly connected to a metering chamber comprised of a segment of compressible tubing 2, an inlet valve 3, and an outlet valve 4. The distance between the inlet valve 3 and the outlet valve 4, and the inner diameter of the tubing 2 defines a volume which can be filled with a liquid. A nozzle 5 is placed below the outlet valve 4 for the purpose of decreasing the flow velocity of the liquid. The cartridge reservoir contains a volume of liquid 12 which is sealed from above by a sliding plunger 6. The cartridge reservoir 1, inlet valve 3, outlet valve 4, plunger 6, metering chamber 2, and nozzle 5 are the components of the cartridge pump CP.
In a first embodiment of a dispensing assembly, the cartridge pump CP rests on a rectangular frame 7 which can be made of plastic. A single rectangular frame 7 can hold a plurality of cartridge pumps CP. The rectangular frame 7 can be removed from the chassis 8 by simply lifting the frame, thereby lifting all the cartridge pumps with it. In this manner, the wetted components can be easily separated from the electromechanical components.
The first embodiment dispensing assembly further includes dispensing actuators DA. Each dispensing actuator DA comprises a solenoid 9, arm 22, and rubber hammer 1. When an electrical current is applied to the solenoid 9, the arm 22 extends forcefully, thereby pressing the rubber hammer 10 against the outer wall of the metering chamber tubing 2. This action deforms the tubing, causing the compressible tubing to assume a compressed shape 2a. Since the total volume inside the metering chamber between the valves 3 and 4 is decreased, a volume of liquid is expelled in the direction defined by the valves 3 and 4. In FIG. 1, the valves are shown as allowing fluid in the downward direction only. Since the diameter of the outlet valve 4 leaflets is comparatively narrow relative to the diameter of the tubing 2, the fluid has a high flow velocity. This results in a forceful squirting of the liquid. This aspect is often undesirable, since it may lead to splattering of the liquid if the object surface of the fluid is situated immediately below. Therefore, the nozzle 5 is placed below the outlet valve 4. The nozzle has an inner diameter greater than the diameter of the outlet valve 4 leaflets. This aspect causes the high velocity fluid to first accumulate in the space above and within the inner aspect of the nozzle. The liquid thus exits the nozzle 5 at a slower velocity, ideally in a dropwise manner.
The rubber hammer 10 is also compressible in order to further decrease the flow velocity of the liquid. Most solenoids tend to extend suddenly and forcefully. This results in a very rapid compression of the tubing 2. In order to decrease this rate of compression, the solenoid arm is fitted with a compressible rubber hammer 10 which absorbs some of the initial force upon impact with the tubing 2.
The tubing 2 can be made of silicone rubber, vinyl, polyurethane, flexible polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or other synthetic or natural resilient elastomers. Such types of tubing are commonly used for peristaltic pumps. The valves can be obtained from Vernay Laboratories, Inc., Yellow Springs, Ohio, 45387 (part #VL 743-102).
When the electrical current is removed from the solenoid 9, the arm 22 and rubber hammer 10 is retracted from the surface of the tubing 2. The tubing in the compressed position 2a thereby reverts back to its native position 2 because of the resiliency of the tubing. The reversion of the tubing to its native position results in a negative pressure being created within the metering chamber, causing liquid 12 to be drawn from the pump reservoir 1 into the metering chamber. The metering chamber is therefore automatically primed for the next pump cycle.
Referring to FIG. 2, the outer aspect of the pump cartridge reservoir 1 has longitudinal ridges 13. These ridges fit into grooves in the frame 7, see FIG. 1, in a lock and key fashion. Different cartridges are manufactured with different patterns of ridges in order to identify the contents. In this manner, any particular cartridge will fit only into a position of the frame with a corresponding pattern of grooves. This feature will prevent the possibility of the operator placing the cartridge in an unintended position of the frame.
Referring to FIG. 3, this shows the variety of possible positions for ridges 13 on the outer surface of the pump cartridge reservoir 1.
Referring to FIG. 4, this shows the first embodiment of the dispensing assembly comprising a rectangular frame 7 having plurality of slots 14 for cartridge pumps in position on the chassis 8 a different dispensing actuator DA being associated with each cartridge pump CP. The chassis is mounted on a pair of cylindrical bars 15. In this case one of the bars is threaded and attached to a motor 16. Alternatively, a cable drive may be provided. The motor can be a conventional stepping motor or servo motor and driven by a computer-generated signal through an electronic interface.
FIG. 5 shows a second embodiment 500 of a dispensing assembly in perspective. Generally, the dispensing assembly 500 comprises a substantially circular assembly base 502, a slide rotor 504 rotatable on the assembly base 502, a reagent rotor 506 also rotatable on the assembly base, and a dispensing station 508.
The slide rotor 504 is driven to rotate by a servo motor (not shown) and carries ten slide frames 510 that are radially asserted into and detachable from it. A top view of single slide frame 510 is shown in FIG. 6. Here, a different slide holding a tissue sample is held in each slide position 512a-512e. The slide frame 510 comprises a slide frame base 514 shown in FIG. 7. The slide frame base includes a plurality of heated areas 516 which underlie each of the slide positions 512a-512e and incorporate resistive heating elements, not shown. The heating elements are integrally formed in the slide frame base 514. Electricity for powering the elements is provided into the slide frame 510 from the assembly base 502 via first and second contacts. Further, third and fourth contacts 520 enable temperature sensing of the heated areas via thermocouples also integrally formed in the slide frame base 514. Adapted to overlay the slide frame base is a slide frame housing 522. FIG. 8 is a top view of the slide frame housing 522 showing essentially a rigid plastic or metal frame 524 with five oval holes 526a-526e corresponding to each of the slide positions 512a-512e. A silicon rubber gasket 528 is also provided under the plastic frame 524. Returning to FIG. 6, the slide frame housing 522, including the gasket 528 and plastic frame 524, is bolted onto the slide frame base 514 by two Allen bolts 530 to provide individual sealed cavities approximately 0.2-0.4 inches deep over each tissue sample slide placed at each of the slide positions 512a-512e. As a result, a total of 3 ml of reagents and/or rinses can be placed in contact with the tissue samples of each one of the slides but a maximum quantity of 2 ml is preferable. Since the silicone gasket 528 is compressed by-the plastic frame 522 against the slide frame base 514, the cavities over each of the frame positions are mutually sealed from each other.
Returning to FIG. 5, above the slide rotor 504 is a non-rotating slide cover 532. This disk-like structure rides above the slide rotor 504 but does not turn with the slide rotor. Basically, it forms a cover for all of the tissue samples held in each of the slide frames 510 so that evaporation of reagents or rinses contained on the slides can be inhibited and also so that environmental contamination of the tissue samples is prevented.
Positioned above the slide rotor 504 is the reagent rotor 506. This reagent rotor 506 is similarly adapted to rotate on the assembly base 502 and is driven by another servo motor (not shown) so that the reagent rotor 506 and slide rotor 504 can rotate independently from each other. The reagent rotor 506 is adapted to carry up to ten arcuate cartridge frames 534. These arcuate cartridge frames are detachable from the reagent rotor 506 and can be selectively attached at any one of the ten possible points of connection. Each arcuate cartridge frame 534 is capable of carrying five of the reagent cartridge pumps CP. A cross sectional view illustrating the arcuate cartridge frame as shown in FIG. 9. As illustrated, the reagent cartridge pump CP is vertically insertable down into a slot 536 in the arcuate cartridge frame 534 so that the nozzle tip 538 extends down below the cartridge frame and the meter chamber tubing 2 is exposed. The arcuate cartridge frame 534 including any cartridge pumps CP is then slidably insertable onto the reagent rotor 506.
Generally, the dispensing station 508 comprises a dispensing actuator DA for engaging the meter chamber tubing 2 of any one of the reagent cartridge pumps CP in any slot in any one of the arcuate cartridge frames 534. Further, the dispensing station 508 includes rinse bottles 540 that can supply rinses into any one of the slides on any one of the slide frames 510 via rinse tubes 542, and a rinse removal vacuum 544 including a vacuum tube that is extendable down into any one of the cavities in the slide frames 510 to remove rinse or reagent.
Specifically, the dispensing station 508 includes a station frame that has a front wall 546 generally following the curvature of the assembly base 502. The station frame also includes a horizontal top wall 548 continuous with the front wall 546 and from which rinse bottles 540 are hung. The front wall 546 of the station housing supports a single dispensing actuator DA. As best shown in connection with FIG. 9, the dispensing actuator DA includes a solenoid or linear stepping motor 9, an arm 22, and a compressible rubber hammer 10 as described in connection with the dispensing actuator illustrated in FIG. 1. Use of a linear stepping motor instead of a solenoid somewhat negates the necessity of the rubber hammer being highly compressible since the rate of extension of linear stepping motors can be controlled to a slow speed. Because only a single dispensing actuator is required in the second embodiment, more expensive alternatives such as the linear stepping motor are preferable. As another possible alternative, the reciprocating hammer of the dispensing actuator could take the form of a cam, driven by a rotary motor, that engages the compressible tubing so that rotation of the cam will deform the compressible tubing.
Upon actuation of the solenoid 9, the rubber hammer 10 extends outwardly to engage the compressible tubing 2 of the particular cartridge pump CP that has been rotated into position in front of the dispensing actuator DA on the reagent rotor 504. The liquid dispensed from the pump cartridge CP by the action of the dispensing actuator DA falls down through a hole 550 formed in the slide cover 532 into the particular medical slide that has been brought into position in front of the dispensing actuator DA by the rotation of the slide rotor 504. In this way, any one of fifty slides, which the slide rotor 504 is capable of carrying, can be accessed and treated with any one of fifty different reagents that the reagent rotor 506 is capable of carrying in the cartridge pumps CP by properly rotating both the reagent rotor and the slide rotor. By this method both the reagent cartridge pump CP carrying the desired reagent and the slide which the operator intends to receive this reagent are brought to circumferential position of the dispensing actuator DA.
The dispensing station 508 also carries up to eight different rinses that can be delivered through rinse tubes 542 to any one of the slides held on the slide rotor 504. As shown in FIG. 10, the rinse bottles 540 are screwed into a female threaded cap 552 secured to the underside of the horizontal top wall 546 of the station frame. Compressed air is from a compressor 554 is provided into each one of the rinse bottles 540. The pressure above the rinse then enables the rinse to be forced out through the dip tube 556 through rinse hose 558 when a pinch valve 560 is opened. Depending on the length of time that the pinch valve is opened, a predetermined amount of rinse can be provided out through the rinse tube 542 into the particular medical slide that has been brought underneath the rinse tube end 562 by the rotation of the slide rotor. Eight different rinse tubes 542 corresponding to each rinse bottle 540 and each controlled by a separate pinch valve. Eight holes are provided in the slide cover 532 underneath the ends of the rinse tubes 542 so that the rinse can reach the slides.
Returning to FIG. 5, also provided on the vertical wall 544 of the station housing is an extendable vacuum hose 544. As more completely shown in cross section in FIG. 11A, the vacuum hose 544 is supported by a hose transport mechanism 570 that allows the vacuum hose 544 to be extended down into a cavity of a slide frame 510 to remove any rinse and reagent covering the tissue sample of the slide. Specifically, the suction is created by a partial vacuum generated in vacuum bottle 572 by a compressor, not shown. Consequently, the rinse and reagent is sucked in through the vacuum hose 544 and into the vacuum bottle when the vacuum hose transport mechanism 570 brings the vacuum hose end in contact with the rinse and/or reagent in cavity of the slide frame 510.
The vacuum hose transport mechanism comprises a motor 574. A reciprocating link 576 is attached to a crank arm 575 so that the rotation of the motor 574 causes the reciprocating link 576 to traverse in a vertical direction. A bottom portion of the reciprocating link 576 is connected to a lever 578 that is pivotally attached to the station frame. The other end of this lever is connected to a vacuum hose clamp 580 that is connected via to pivot arms 582 to a plate 584 rigidly attached to the station frame. The net effect of these connections is that when the motor 574 is rotated, the slide arm 576 descends in the vertical direction. Thus, the lever 578 is pivoted clockwise around its fulcrum causing the hose clamp 580 to pivot up and away on the two pivot arms 582 from the slide as shown in FIG. 11b. The motor is automatically turned off as the slide reaches its two extreme ends of movement by the contact of the electrical terminals 584 of the slide to the contact plates 586 connected to the station frame.
A microprocessor, not shown, controls the entire dispensing assembly 500. That is, an operator programs the microprocessor with the information such as the location of reagents on the reagent rotor and the location of slides on the slide rotor. The operator then programs the particular histochemical protocol to be performed on the tissue samples. Variables in these protocols can include the particular reagent used on the tissue sample, the time that the tissue sample is allowed to react with the reagent, whether the tissue sample is then heated to exposed or develop the tissue sample, the rinse that is then used to deactivate the reagent, followed by the subsequent removal of the rinse and reagent to allow subsequent exposure to a possibly different reagent. The dispensing assembly enables complete random access, i.e. any reagent to any slide in any sequence.
An important aspect of the above-described invention is its ability to retain the fluid until such time as the solenoid hammer 10 presses on the metering chamber tubing 2. As will be noted from FIG. 1, both one-way valves 3 and 4 are aligned in the same direction, allowing only downward flow. It was found during construction that using valves with a low opening ("cracking") pressure resulted in the liquid dripping out of the nozzle. There are two solutions to this problem. The most obvious is to use valves with an opening pressure greater than the pressure head of liquid. In this manner, the outlet valve 4 will not allow fluid exit until a certain minimum force is applied which is greater than the pressure head of the standing liquid.
A second alternative to prevent spontaneous dripping of the liquid out of the outlet valve 4 is to use a plunger 6 with an amount of friction against the inner surface of the reservoir 1 greater than the gravity pressure of the liquid 12. An additional advantage of the plunger 6 is that it prevents spillage of the liquid 12 from the top of the reservoir 1 (which would likely occur if the reservoir were left open from above). In this manner, the plunger will not be drawn downwards inside the reservoir merely by the weight of the liquid. However, when the metering chamber is emptied and a small amount of liquid is drawn from the reservoir 1 to refill the metering chamber, the plunger's friction to the reservoir wall is overcome. The plunger 6 thereby moves downward a distance proportional to the volume of liquid expelled. We have found it useful to apply a thin coat of a lubricant such as petroleum jelly to ensure that the plunger 6 moves smoothly downward within the reservoir.
Any combination of valve opening pressure and plunger friction may be used to prevent dripping, but given the low opening pressure typically found in valves of the type used, friction greater than gravity pressure of the liquid is preferred.
FIG. 12 shows another alternative construction of the cartridge top. Instead of using a plunger, a one-way valve 17 is placed at the top of the reservoir 1. The valve 17 has an opening pressure greater than the gravity pressure of the liquid within the reservoir. This third valve 17 is aligned in the same direction as the metering chamber valves 3 and 4. This allows the entrance of air into the reservoir as liquid is removed. In this case, cracking pressure of any or all of the three valves 3, 4 and 17 prevents spontaneous dripping from the outlet valve. Additionally, the valve 17 prevents spillage of the contents of the reservoir.
FIG. 13 shows another alternative construction for the top of the cartridge. A rolling diaphragm cover 18 is mounted at the top of the reservoir 1 and is drawn into the reservoir as the liquid is used up. This construction prevents spillage of the liquid 12 as well as provides a seal to prevent air entry. The rolling diaphragm can be made of any thin flexible elastomer such as natural rubber. The top of the rolling diaphragm can be sealed to the reservoir wall 1 by stretching the diaphragm over the reservoir, with an adhesive or by heat sealing.
FIG. 14 demonstrates a third alternative construction. The top of the reservoir is closed, except for a small aperture 19 for the entrance of air. The diameter of the aperture at the top of the reservoir can be sufficiently small to effectively prevent accidental spillage of the liquid contents of the cartridge but still allow air entry as liquid is dispensed from the cartridge.
A fluid level sensor may be provided adjacent to the cartridge reservoir. For example, a shaft can be connected to the top of the plunger. The shaft can be designed with a shape such that as it is drawn into the cartridge reservoir, it can optically or electrically open or close a circuit at a certain depth within the cartridge reservoir. In this manner, the shaft connected to the plunger can signal to a computer the depth of entry into the cartridge reservoir. The depth of entry would therefore be directly proportional to the amount of liquid remaining in the cartridge reservoir. Such an arrangement provides an automatic means for sensing the amount of liquid remaining inside the reservoir.
A variety of different configurations for the dispensing actuators DA may be used to apply pressure on the metering chamber tubing. Although a push-type of actuator DA is shown in FIG. 1, a rotary or pull-type could also be used with slight modifications to the design, as would be obvious so as to apply a pressure on the metering chamber tubing. Additionally, a solenoid valve could also be used to control pressure to a pneumatic cylinder whose piston rod is the actuator. Alternatively, a piezoelectric transducer may apply the pressure to the metering chamber tubing.
An alternative dispensing pump cartridge is illustrated in FIGS. 15 through 18. As in prior embodiments, the pump cartridge includes a liquid reservoir, in this case a flexible plastic bag 612 within a rigid housing 614. FIGS. 15 and 16 show the housing and longitudinal section in views from the front and side. FIG. 16 shows the bag collapsed, it being recognized that it would expand to fill the volume within the housing when filled with liquid. The open end of the reservoir bag 612 fits snugly about an inlet end of a metering chamber tube 616 and is clamped and thus sealed to the tube by a plate 618 which also serves as a closure to the housing 614. As in prior embodiments, the tube 616 is adapted to be compressed by an actuator 10 to expel liquid through a one-way outlet valve 620. When the actuator 10 is then released, the wall of the tube 616 returns to its native position and thus creates negative pressure within the metering chamber. That negative pressure draws liquid from the liquid reservoir 612 through a one-way inlet valve 622 into the metering chamber. Significantly, both valves are passive check valves, the dispensing being controlled by the single actuator 10. Mechanical complexity is avoided, and a cartridge may be readily replaced by dropping the cartridge into place with the tubing of the metering chamber positioned adjacent to the actuator 10.
The novel valves of this embodiment provide relatively large sealing forces to minimize leakage while still requiring very small pressure differential to open. Further, the flow path below the sealing surface of the outlet valve 620 is minimal, thus minimizing any caking of reagent on flow surfaces. As in the embodiment of FIG. 1, the one-way valves are formed from flexible leaflets. However, in this embodiment a leaflet takes the form of a flat membrane having a central pinhole which seals against a pointed protrusion. Specifically, in the outlet valve 68, a membrane 624 is preferably formed of unitary plastic with the tube 616. A disk 626 (FIG. 18) snaps between the membrane 624 and a molded flange 628 within the metering chamber tube 616 (FIG. 17). A valve needle 630 extends as a protrusion from the plate 626. The needle may be a separate piece press fit into the plate 626 as illustrated in FIG. 18, or it may be molded as a unitary piece with the plate 626. The tip of the valve needle 630 extends into the pinhole 632 within the membrane 624, thus flexing the membrane in an outward direction. Due to the resiliency of the membrane, it presses back against the valve needle 630 with a sealing force sufficient to withstand the pressure head of the liquid contained within the metering chamber tube 616.
The plate 626 has a hole 634 to allow fluid flow therethrough. When the tube 616 is compressed by the actuator 10, the increased pressure within the metering chamber is applied across the entire upper surface area of the membrane 624 such that a low level of pressure is required to cause the membrane to flex and break the seal about the valve needle 630. Liquid then flows through the hole 634 and the pinhole 632.
The inlet valve 622 is similarly constructed with a membrane 636 and valve needle plate 638 retained within the internal flanges 640 and 642 in the metering chamber tube 616. With the low pressure differential required to open the valve, the tube 616 is able to return to its native position and draw liquid into the metering chamber from the reservoir 612. On the other hand, when the actuator 10 compresses the metering chamber 616, the force against the membrane 636 is sufficient to seal that membrane against the valve needle of the plate 638.
While this invention has been particularly shown and described with references to preferred embodiments thereof, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes in form and details may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims. For example, the pump is operable with the metering chamber positioned above the reservoir. Disclosure Document No. 252981 filed May 10, 1990 at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office shows details of a potential system embodying the present invention.
|Cited Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US3164304 *||May 8, 1961||Jan 5, 1965||Standard Thomson Corp||Liquid dispensing apparatus for small quantities|
|US3768704 *||Oct 10, 1972||Oct 30, 1973||Tech Sa D Et||Fluid dispenser|
|US3850190 *||Sep 17, 1973||Nov 26, 1974||Mark Controls Corp||Backflow preventer|
|US3853092 *||Oct 25, 1973||Dec 10, 1974||Corning Glass Works||Apparatus for nutating and staining a microscope slide|
|US3955930 *||Apr 7, 1975||May 11, 1976||Justin Joel Shapiro||Automatic dilutor having coupled diluent and reagent plungers|
|US4043292 *||Jul 21, 1975||Aug 23, 1977||Corning Glass Works||Microscope slide staining apparatus having temperature control|
|US4092952 *||Aug 19, 1977||Jun 6, 1978||Wilkie Ronald N||Automatic slide stainer|
|US4095722 *||Mar 18, 1976||Jun 20, 1978||Miller Kenneth L||Dripless dispenser and method of dispensing a flowable material|
|US4130224 *||Oct 8, 1976||Dec 19, 1978||Envair, Inc.||Viscous liquid dispenser|
|US4141474 *||Jul 9, 1976||Feb 27, 1979||Kenova Ab||Self-closing closure utilizing a single diaphragm|
|US4220285 *||Oct 17, 1977||Sep 2, 1980||Spray Plast S.r.1||Hand sprayer for liquids|
|US4224032 *||Dec 5, 1977||Sep 23, 1980||Eastman Kodak Company||Method and apparatus for chemical analysis|
|US4268226 *||Jul 26, 1978||May 19, 1981||Dunlop Limited||Tube type pump and wave motor|
|US4334640 *||Oct 14, 1980||Jun 15, 1982||Douwe Egberts Koninklijke Tabaksfabriek-Koffiebranderijen-Theehandel B.V.||Exchangeable concentrate container for beverage dispensing machines|
|US4358470 *||Dec 30, 1980||Nov 9, 1982||Lkb-Produkter Ab||Process and apparatus for the treatment of samples with a succession of liquids|
|US4526294 *||Feb 22, 1983||Jul 2, 1985||Glasgeratebau Hirschmann||Dispenser for dispensing liquids in controlled quantities from a bottle|
|US4537561 *||Feb 24, 1983||Aug 27, 1985||Medical Technology, Ltd.||Peristaltic infusion pump and disposable cassette for use therewith|
|US4543236 *||Mar 12, 1982||Sep 24, 1985||Gise Hardo F Von||Incubating apparatus for selective and exact treatment of histological preparations|
|US4690005 *||Nov 1, 1985||Sep 1, 1987||Labstystems Oy||Diluting dosage device|
|US4699300 *||Jan 12, 1987||Oct 13, 1987||Blake William S||Two piece dispensing closure with positive shutoff|
|US4731335 *||Sep 13, 1985||Mar 15, 1988||Fisher Scientific Company||Method for treating thin samples on a surface employing capillary flow|
|US4741259 *||Apr 24, 1987||May 3, 1988||U.S. Philips Corporation||Coffee maker having a detachable cassette containing the pump and heater assembly|
|US4760939 *||Apr 24, 1986||Aug 2, 1988||Jencons (Scientific) Limited||Liquid dosing device with digital display|
|US4764342 *||Feb 27, 1985||Aug 16, 1988||Fisher Scientific Company||Reagent handling|
|US4798580 *||Apr 27, 1987||Jan 17, 1989||Site Microsurgical Systems, Inc.||Disposable peristaltic pump cassette system|
|US4824337 *||Dec 24, 1987||Apr 25, 1989||The Gorman-Rupp Company||Valve assembly for an oscillating pump|
|US4838887 *||Dec 15, 1987||Jun 13, 1989||Shiley Infusaid Inc.||Programmable valve pump|
|US4844868 *||Jun 11, 1986||Jul 4, 1989||Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba||Automatic chemical analysis reagent distribution and analysis apparatus|
|US4846636 *||Mar 16, 1988||Jul 11, 1989||Critikon, Inc.||Parenteral solution pump assembly|
|US4846797 *||Jan 11, 1988||Jul 11, 1989||Intelligent Medicine, Inc.||Syringe positioning device for enhancing fluid flow control|
|US4847208 *||Jul 29, 1987||Jul 11, 1989||Bogen Steven A||Apparatus for immunohistochemical staining and method of rinsing a plurality of slides|
|US4933146 *||Jul 11, 1986||Jun 12, 1990||Beckman Instruments, Inc.||Temperature control apparatus for automated clinical analyzer|
|US4967940 *||Feb 21, 1989||Nov 6, 1990||Minnesota Mining And Manufacturing Co.||Method and apparatus for precision squeeze tube valving, pumping and dispensing of work fluid(s)|
|US4974754 *||Oct 31, 1988||Dec 4, 1990||Alphasem Ag||Metering apparatus for metering and delivering fluid or pasty substances and use of said metering apparatus|
|US4985206 *||Sep 29, 1988||Jan 15, 1991||Shandon Scientific Limited||Tissue processing apparatus|
|US5049359 *||Mar 6, 1990||Sep 17, 1991||Konishiroku Photo Industry Co., Ltd.||Apparatus for biochemical analysis|
|US5073504 *||Jul 29, 1988||Dec 17, 1991||Bogen Steven A||Apparatus and method for immunohistochemical staining|
|US5100030 *||May 24, 1990||Mar 31, 1992||Inopak Ltd.||Fixtures for fluid dispensing bags|
|US5231029 *||Aug 21, 1990||Jul 27, 1993||Royal Postgraduate Medical School||Apparatus for the in situ hybridization of slide-mounted cell samples|
|US5232664 *||Sep 18, 1991||Aug 3, 1993||Ventana Medical Systems, Inc.||Liquid dispenser|
|US5246665 *||Jun 3, 1991||Sep 21, 1993||Abbott Laboratories||Heat and air flow control for assay carrier|
|US5316452 *||May 11, 1992||May 31, 1994||Gilbert Corporation||Dispensing assembly with interchangeable cartridge pumps|
|US5320845 *||Jan 6, 1993||Jun 14, 1994||Py Daniel C||Apparatus for delivering multiple medicaments to an eye without premixing in the apparatus|
|US5425918 *||Nov 15, 1993||Jun 20, 1995||Australian Biomedical Corporation||Apparatus for automatic tissue staining for immunohistochemistry|
|US5439649 *||Sep 29, 1993||Aug 8, 1995||Biogenex Laboratories||Automated staining apparatus|
|US5475610 *||Apr 20, 1992||Dec 12, 1995||The Perkin-Elmer Corporation||Thermal cycler for automatic performance of the polymerase chain reaction with close temperature control|
|US5551487 *||Mar 10, 1995||Sep 3, 1996||Hewlett-Packard Company||Micro-dispenser for preparing assay plates|
|US5595707 *||Dec 9, 1994||Jan 21, 1997||Ventana Medical Systems, Inc.||Automated biological reaction apparatus|
|US5645114 *||May 31, 1994||Jul 8, 1997||Cytologix Corporation||Dispensing assembly with interchangeable cartridge pumps|
|EP0167274A2 *||May 30, 1985||Jan 8, 1986||Garry Ernest Cartwright||Pump|
|EP0201780A1 *||Apr 25, 1986||Nov 20, 1986||Jan Hastka||Apparatus and method for cytological and histological examinations of sample slides|
|EP0268237A2 *||Nov 16, 1987||May 25, 1988||Abbott Laboratories||Apparatus and process for reagent fluid dispensing and printing|
|WO1994029187A1 *||May 20, 1994||Dec 22, 1994||Billy Nilson||A self-closing arrangement|
|1||*||Brochure, IDX 2000 Automated Immunohistochemistry System, Immunodiagnostics, Inc., 1990, 4 pages.|
|2||MaWhinney, W.H.B., et al., "Automated Immunochemistry," J. Clin. Pathol., 43(7):591-596 (1990).|
|3||*||MaWhinney, W.H.B., et al., Automated Immunochemistry, J. Clin. Pathol. , 43(7):591 596 (1990).|
|4||Stark, E., et al., "An Automated Device for Immunocytochemistry," Journal of Immunological Methods, 107:89-92 (1988).|
|5||*||Stark, E., et al., An Automated Device for Immunocytochemistry, Journal of Immunological Methods , 107:89 92 (1988).|
|6||Stross, W.P., et al., "Automation of APAAP Immunocytochemical Technique," J. Clin. Pathol., 42:106-112 (1989).|
|7||*||Stross, W.P., et al., Automation of APAAP Immunocytochemical Technique, J. Clin. Pathol. , 42:106 112 (1989).|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US6296809 *||Feb 26, 1999||Oct 2, 2001||Ventana Medical Systems, Inc.||Automated molecular pathology apparatus having independent slide heaters|
|US6352861 *||Dec 1, 1999||Mar 5, 2002||Ventana Medical Systems, Inc.||Automated biological reaction apparatus|
|US6365412 *||Jan 28, 2000||Apr 2, 2002||Pharmacopeia, Inc.||Centrifugal dispenser and method of use|
|US6534008||Jul 7, 2000||Mar 18, 2003||Lee Angros||In situ heat induced antigen recovery and staining apparatus and method|
|US6582962||Oct 17, 2000||Jun 24, 2003||Ventana Medical Systems, Inc.||Automated molecular pathology apparatus having independent slide heaters|
|US6599755 *||Apr 18, 2000||Jul 29, 2003||Basf Aktiengesellschaft||Method and device for applying small quantities of liquid|
|US6673620||Apr 14, 2000||Jan 6, 2004||Cytologix Corporation||Fluid exchange in a chamber on a microscope slide|
|US6698470 *||Feb 8, 2000||Mar 2, 2004||Cybio Instruments Gmbh||Method and device for collecting fractions after material separation|
|US6827901||May 2, 2002||Dec 7, 2004||Ventana Medical Systems, Inc.||Automated biological reaction apparatus|
|US6855292||Mar 14, 2003||Feb 15, 2005||Lee Angros||In situ heat induced antigen recovery and staining apparatus and method|
|US6875539||Jan 18, 2002||Apr 5, 2005||Heiner Ophardt||Combination liquid dispenser and electrochemical cell|
|US7217392||Jun 9, 2004||May 15, 2007||Cytologix Corporation||Random access slide stainer with independent slide heating regulation|
|US7250301||Sep 13, 2002||Jul 31, 2007||Lee Angros||In situ heat induced antigen recovery and staining method|
|US7318913||Oct 29, 2003||Jan 15, 2008||Cytologix Corporation||Fluid exchange in a chamber on a microscope slide|
|US7425306||Sep 11, 2001||Sep 16, 2008||Ventana Medical Systems, Inc.||Slide heater|
|US7476362 *||Sep 17, 2004||Jan 13, 2009||Lee Angros||In situ heat induced antigen recovery and staining apparatus and method|
|US7501283||Aug 11, 2003||Mar 10, 2009||Sakura Finetek U.S.A., Inc.||Fluid dispensing apparatus|
|US7517498||Aug 19, 2003||Apr 14, 2009||Agilent Technologies, Inc.||Apparatus for substrate handling|
|US7530477||Nov 1, 2004||May 12, 2009||Gotohti.Com Inc.||Combination liquid dispenser and electrochemical cell|
|US7553672||May 14, 2007||Jun 30, 2009||Dako Denmark A/S||Random access slide stainer with independent slide heating regulation|
|US7615371||Dec 17, 2004||Nov 10, 2009||Ventana Medical Systems, Inc.||Method and apparatus for treating a biological sample with a liquid reagent|
|US7622077 *||Sep 17, 2004||Nov 24, 2009||Lee Angros||In situ heat induced antigen recovery and staining apparatus and method|
|US7632461 *||Sep 17, 2004||Dec 15, 2009||Lee Angros||In situ heat induced antigen recovery and staining apparatus and method|
|US7648678||Dec 8, 2003||Jan 19, 2010||Dako Denmark A/S||Method and system for pretreatment of tissue slides|
|US7661202 *||Sep 12, 2003||Feb 16, 2010||Lg Electronics Inc.||Structure of motor shaft in clothes dryer|
|US7718435||Oct 31, 2000||May 18, 2010||Dako Denmark A/S||Automated slide stainer with slide housing|
|US7744817||Feb 6, 2006||Jun 29, 2010||Sakura Finetek U.S.A., Inc.||Manifold assembly|
|US7758809||Dec 3, 2009||Jul 20, 2010||Dako Cytomation Denmark A/S||Method and system for pretreatment of tissue slides|
|US7767152||Feb 3, 2006||Aug 3, 2010||Sakura Finetek U.S.A., Inc.||Reagent container and slide reaction retaining tray, and method of operation|
|US7838283||Apr 21, 2006||Nov 23, 2010||Celerus Diagnostics, Inc.||Wicking cassette method and apparatus for automated rapid immunohistochemistry|
|US7842387||Jun 9, 2006||Nov 30, 2010||The Board Of Regents Of The University Of Oklahoma||Methods for growing and harvesting carbon nanotubes|
|US7897106||May 24, 2006||Mar 1, 2011||Lee Angros||Situ heat induced antigen recovery and staining apparatus and method|
|US7937228||Mar 19, 2008||May 3, 2011||Dako Denmark A/S||Information notification sample processing system and methods of biological slide processing|
|US7951612||May 24, 2006||May 31, 2011||Lee H. Angros||In situ heat induced antigen recovery and staining apparatus and method|
|US7960178||Dec 19, 2003||Jun 14, 2011||Dako Denmark A/S||Enhanced scheduling sample processing system and methods of biological slide processing|
|US7994919||Jun 10, 2009||Aug 9, 2011||Rockwell Automation Technologies, Inc.||Systems and methods that integrate radio frequency identification (RFID) technology with agent-based control systems|
|US7997475||Feb 29, 2008||Aug 16, 2011||Rockwell Automation Technologies, Inc.||Systems and methods that integrate radio frequency identification (RFID) technology with industrial controllers|
|US8007720||Aug 26, 2008||Aug 30, 2011||Lee Angros||In situ heat induced antigen recovery and staining apparatus and method|
|US8007721||Sep 17, 2009||Aug 30, 2011||Lee Angros||In Situ heat induced antigen recovery and staining apparatus and method|
|US8025227||Sep 30, 2005||Sep 27, 2011||Rockwell Automation Technologies, Inc.||Access to distributed databases via pointer stored in RFID tag|
|US8034610||Apr 21, 2006||Oct 11, 2011||Celerus Diagnostics, Inc.||Parallel processing fluidic method and apparatus for automated rapid immunohistochemistry|
|US8048373||Oct 22, 2007||Nov 1, 2011||Ventana Medical Systems, Inc.||Automated high volume slide staining system|
|US8052927||Jun 30, 2009||Nov 8, 2011||Lee Angros||In situ heat induced antigen recovery and staining method|
|US8058010||Apr 21, 2006||Nov 15, 2011||Celerus Diagnostics, Inc.||Enhanced fluidic method and apparatus for automated rapid immunohistochemistry|
|US8071023||Nov 23, 2009||Dec 6, 2011||Lee Angros||In situ heat induced antigen recovery and staining apparatus and method|
|US8071049||Feb 10, 2006||Dec 6, 2011||Roland Zengerle||Pipette tip, pipetting device, pipette tip actuating device and method for pipetting in the NL range|
|US8092742||Nov 23, 2009||Jan 10, 2012||Lee Angros||In situ heat induced antigen recovery and staining apparatus and method|
|US8152053||Mar 12, 2009||Apr 10, 2012||Rockwell Automation Technologies, Inc.||RFID architecture in an industrial controller environment|
|US8173068||Aug 28, 2007||May 8, 2012||Dako Denmark A/S||Fluid exchange in a chamber on a microscope slide|
|US8178350||Apr 21, 2006||May 15, 2012||Celerus Diagnostics, Inc.||Method and apparatus for automated rapid immunohistochemistry|
|US8216512||Dec 19, 2003||Jul 10, 2012||Dako Denmark A/S||Apparatus for automated processing biological samples|
|US8257968||Dec 19, 2003||Sep 4, 2012||Dako Denmark A/S||Method and apparatus for automatic staining of tissue samples|
|US8260948||Aug 10, 2005||Sep 4, 2012||Rockwell Automation Technologies, Inc.||Enhanced controller utilizing RFID technology|
|US8298485||May 24, 2006||Oct 30, 2012||Lee H. Angros||In situ heat induced antigen recovery and staining apparatus and method|
|US8298815||Dec 22, 2003||Oct 30, 2012||Dako Denmark A/S||Systems and methods of sample processing and temperature control|
|US8313694||Aug 29, 2011||Nov 20, 2012||Lee Angros||In situ heat induced antigen recovery and staining apparatus and method|
|US8329100||Aug 29, 2011||Dec 11, 2012||Lee Angros||In situ heat induced antigen recovery and staining apparatus and method|
|US8354058||Dec 5, 2011||Jan 15, 2013||Lee Angros||In situ heat induced antigen recovery and staining apparatus and method|
|US8361388||Feb 28, 2011||Jan 29, 2013||Lee H. Angros||In situ heat induced antigen recovery and staining apparatus and method|
|US8377377||Aug 28, 2009||Feb 19, 2013||Lee H. Angros||In situ heat induced antigen recovery and staining apparatus and method|
|US8384544||Jun 10, 2009||Feb 26, 2013||Rockwell Automation Technologies, Inc.||Systems and methods that integrate radio frequency identification (RFID) technology with agent-based control systems|
|US8386195||Mar 28, 2011||Feb 26, 2013||Dako Denmark A/S||Information notification sample processing system and methods of biological slide processing|
|US8394635||May 6, 2011||Mar 12, 2013||Dako Denmark A/S||Enhanced scheduling sample processing system and methods of biological slide processing|
|US8459509||May 25, 2006||Jun 11, 2013||Sakura Finetek U.S.A., Inc.||Fluid dispensing apparatus|
|US8486335||Aug 28, 2009||Jul 16, 2013||Lee H. Angros||In situ heat induced antigen recovery and staining apparatus and method|
|US8501434||May 3, 2012||Aug 6, 2013||Biocare, LLC||Method for processing non-liquid biological samples with dynamic application of a processing liquid|
|US8529836||Jun 11, 2012||Sep 10, 2013||Dako Denmark A/S||Apparatus for automated processing biological samples|
|US8541244||May 27, 2011||Sep 24, 2013||Lee H. Angros||In situ heat induced antigen recovery and staining apparatus and method|
|US8574494||Nov 8, 2011||Nov 5, 2013||Lee Angros||In situ heat induced antigen recovery and staining method|
|US8580568||Sep 21, 2011||Nov 12, 2013||Sakura Finetek U.S.A., Inc.||Traceability for automated staining system|
|US8663978||Aug 6, 2012||Mar 4, 2014||Dako Denmark A/S||Method and apparatus for automatic staining of tissue samples|
|US8663991||Jul 13, 2005||Mar 4, 2014||Ventana Medical Systems, Inc.||Automated high volume slide processing system|
|US8673642||Feb 4, 2013||Mar 18, 2014||Dako Denmark A/S||Enhanced scheduling sample processing system and methods of biological slide processing|
|US8695858||Sep 7, 2011||Apr 15, 2014||Achim Philipp Zapp||Air valves for a wireless spout and system for dispensing|
|US8696988||Jan 15, 2013||Apr 15, 2014||Lee H. Angros||In situ heat induced antigen recovery and staining apparatus and method|
|US8752732||Feb 1, 2011||Jun 17, 2014||Sakura Finetek U.S.A., Inc.||Fluid dispensing system|
|US8784735||Aug 12, 2013||Jul 22, 2014||Dako Denmark A/S||Apparatus for automated processing biological samples|
|US8788217||Jan 23, 2013||Jul 22, 2014||Dako Denmark A/S||Information notification sample processing system and methods of biological slide processing|
|US8857479 *||May 5, 2010||Oct 14, 2014||Sidel Participations||Filling machine with a variable filling rate|
|US8925769||Sep 7, 2011||Jan 6, 2015||Automatic Bar Controls, Inc.||Wireless spout and system for dispensing|
|US8932543||Sep 21, 2011||Jan 13, 2015||Sakura Finetek U.S.A., Inc.||Automated staining system and reaction chamber|
|US8960502 *||May 21, 2012||Feb 24, 2015||Charles J Stehli, Jr.||Fluid dispenser, system and filling process|
|US8969086||Feb 18, 2014||Mar 3, 2015||Dako Denmark A/S||Enhanced scheduling sample processing system and methods of biological slide processing|
|US9005980||Oct 18, 2013||Apr 14, 2015||Sakura Finetek U.S.A., Inc.||Traceability for automated staining system|
|US9016526||Jun 5, 2014||Apr 28, 2015||Sakura Finetek U.S.A., Inc.||Fluid dispensing system|
|US9176033||Nov 5, 2013||Nov 3, 2015||Lee H. Angros||In situ heat induced antigen recovery and staining method|
|US9229016||Jun 17, 2014||Jan 5, 2016||Dako Denmark A/S||Information notification sample processing system and methods of biological slide processing|
|US9267868 *||Jul 16, 2013||Feb 23, 2016||Lee H. Angros||In Situ heat induced antigen recovery and staining apparatus and method|
|US9289734 *||Feb 2, 2012||Mar 22, 2016||Cps Color Equipment Sa Con Unico Socio||Apparatus for the delivery of fluid products|
|US9354145||Sep 24, 2013||May 31, 2016||Lee Angros||In situ heat induced antigen recovery and staining apparatus and method|
|US9375716 *||Jun 16, 2015||Jun 28, 2016||Life Technologies Corporation||Pinch flow regulator|
|US9428373 *||Apr 6, 2011||Aug 30, 2016||Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Food & Packaging Machine Co., Ltd.||Rotary-type filling machine and method for calculating filling quantity for rotary-type filling machine|
|US9442049||Jul 9, 2013||Sep 13, 2016||Biocare Medical, Llc||Efficient processing systems and methods for biological samples|
|US9464974||Apr 15, 2014||Oct 11, 2016||Lee H. Angros||In situ heat induced antigen recovery and staining apparatus and method|
|US9469464||Nov 3, 2014||Oct 18, 2016||Roche Diagnostics Operations, Inc.||Microfluidic dispenser, cartridge and analysis system for analyzing a biological sample|
|US9518899||Feb 7, 2006||Dec 13, 2016||Sakura Finetek U.S.A., Inc.||Automated reagent dispensing system and method of operation|
|US9528918||Nov 15, 2013||Dec 27, 2016||Ventana Medical Systems, Inc.||Automated high volume slide processing system|
|US9533870||Sep 2, 2014||Jan 3, 2017||Automatic Bar Controls, Inc.||Wireless spout and dispensing system|
|US9599630||Jan 9, 2014||Mar 21, 2017||Dako Denmark A/S||Method and apparatus for automatic staining of tissue samples|
|US9606034||Nov 2, 2015||Mar 28, 2017||Lee H. Angros||In situ heat induced antigen recovery and staining method|
|US9719895||May 27, 2016||Aug 1, 2017||Lee H. Angros||In situ heat induced antigen recovery and staining apparatus and method|
|US20030017075 *||Sep 13, 2002||Jan 23, 2003||Lee Angros||In situ heat induced antigen recovery and staining method|
|US20030136666 *||Jan 18, 2002||Jul 24, 2003||Heiner Ophardt||Combination liquid dispenser and electrochemical cell|
|US20030170144 *||Mar 14, 2003||Sep 11, 2003||Lee Angros||In situ heat induced antigen recovery and staining apparatus and method|
|US20040052685 *||Jun 23, 2003||Mar 18, 2004||Ventana Medical Systems, Inc.||Automated molecular pathology apparatus having independent slide heaters|
|US20040086428 *||Oct 29, 2003||May 6, 2004||Cytologix Corporation||Fluid exchange in a chamber on a microscope slide|
|US20040191128 *||Apr 12, 2004||Sep 30, 2004||Cytologix Corporation||Slide stainer with heating|
|US20040221477 *||Sep 12, 2003||Nov 11, 2004||Lg Electronics Inc.||Structure of motor shaft in clothes dryer|
|US20040241050 *||Jun 9, 2004||Dec 2, 2004||Cytologix Corporation||Random access slide stainer with independent slide heating regulation|
|US20050042768 *||Aug 19, 2003||Feb 24, 2005||Fredrick Joseph P.||Apparatus for substrate handling|
|US20050053526 *||Sep 17, 2004||Mar 10, 2005||Lee Angros||In situ heat induced antigen recovery and staining apparatus and method|
|US20050054079 *||Sep 17, 2004||Mar 10, 2005||Lee Angros||In situ heat induced antigen recovery and staining apparatus and method|
|US20050054080 *||Sep 17, 2004||Mar 10, 2005||Lee Angros||In situ heat induced antigen recovery and staining apparatus and method|
|US20050064281 *||Nov 1, 2004||Mar 24, 2005||Heiner Ophardt||Combination liquid dispenser and electrochemical cell|
|US20060147351 *||Jun 9, 2004||Jul 6, 2006||Dako Denmark A/S||Diaphram metering chamber dispensing systems|
|US20060171854 *||Feb 10, 2006||Aug 3, 2006||Roland Zengerle||Pipette tip, pipetting device, pipette tip actuating device and method for pipetting in the NL range|
|US20060275861 *||May 24, 2006||Dec 7, 2006||Lee Angros||In situ heat induced antigen recovery and staining apparatus and method|
|US20060275889 *||May 24, 2006||Dec 7, 2006||Lee Angros||In situ heat induced antigen recovery and staining apparatus and method|
|US20060281116 *||May 24, 2006||Dec 14, 2006||Lee Angros||In situ heat induced antigen recovery and staining apparatus and method|
|US20070092431 *||Jun 9, 2006||Apr 26, 2007||Resasco Daniel E||Methods for growing and harvesting carbon nanotubes|
|US20070231889 *||May 30, 2007||Oct 4, 2007||Lee Angros||In situ heat induced antigen recovery and staining method|
|US20070281364 *||May 14, 2007||Dec 6, 2007||Bogen Steven A||Random access slide stainer with independent slide heating regulation|
|US20080056954 *||Aug 28, 2007||Mar 6, 2008||Loeffler Herbert H||Fluid exchange in a chamber on a microscope slide|
|US20080170464 *||Feb 15, 2008||Jul 17, 2008||Olympus Corporation||Analyzing apparatus, supply apparatus, agitation apparatus, and agitation method|
|US20080194034 *||Apr 21, 2006||Aug 14, 2008||Celerus Diagnostics, Inc.||Method And Apparatus For Automated Rapid Immunohistochemistry|
|US20080213804 *||Apr 21, 2006||Sep 4, 2008||Celerus Diagnostics, Inc.||Parallel Processing Fluidic Method and Apparatus for Automated Rapid Immunohistochemistry|
|US20080278328 *||Jun 16, 2008||Nov 13, 2008||Rockwell Automation Technologies, Inc.||Mobile rfid reader with integrated location awareness for material tracking and management|
|US20080286753 *||Apr 21, 2006||Nov 20, 2008||Celerus Diagnostics, Inc.||Wicking Cassette Method and Apparatus for Automated Rapid Immunohistochemistry|
|US20080318129 *||Jan 25, 2006||Dec 25, 2008||Gene Lewis||Fuel Cell Cathodes|
|US20090004691 *||Apr 21, 2006||Jan 1, 2009||Celerus Diagnostics, Inc.||Enhanced Fluidic Method and Apparatus for Automated Rapid Immunohistochemistry|
|US20090206154 *||Mar 12, 2009||Aug 20, 2009||Rockwell Automation Technologies, Inc.||Rfid architecture in an industrial controller environment|
|US20090253592 *||Jun 12, 2009||Oct 8, 2009||Kram Brian H||Method and apparatus for treating a biological sample with a liquid reagent|
|US20090270599 *||Jun 30, 2009||Oct 29, 2009||Lee Angros||In situ heat induced antigen recovery and staining method|
|US20090277931 *||May 8, 2008||Nov 12, 2009||Achim Philipp Zapp||Wireless spout and system for free-and pre-measured dispensing|
|US20100009429 *||Sep 17, 2009||Jan 14, 2010||Angros Lee H||In situ heat induced antigen recovery and staining apparatus and method|
|US20100028978 *||Aug 28, 2009||Feb 4, 2010||Angros Lee H||In situ heat induced antigen recovery and staining apparatus and method|
|US20100068096 *||Nov 23, 2009||Mar 18, 2010||Lee Angros||In situ heat induced antigen recovery and staining apparatus and method|
|US20100068757 *||Aug 28, 2009||Mar 18, 2010||Angros Lee H||In situ heat induced antigen recovery and staining apparatus and method|
|US20110150725 *||Feb 28, 2011||Jun 23, 2011||Lee Angros||In situ heat induced antigen recovery and staining apparatus and method|
|US20110229978 *||May 27, 2011||Sep 22, 2011||Lee Angros||In situ heat induced antigen recovery and staining apparatus and method|
|US20120048423 *||May 5, 2010||Mar 1, 2012||Sidel Participations||Filling machine with a variable filling rate|
|US20120312839 *||May 21, 2012||Dec 13, 2012||Stehli Jr Charles J||Fluid dispenser, system and filling process|
|US20130092288 *||May 6, 2011||Apr 18, 2013||Tecan Trading Ag||Dispenser and method for dispensing flowable or pourable materials|
|US20130302818 *||Jul 16, 2013||Nov 14, 2013||Lee H. Angros||In situ heat induced antigen recovery and staining apparatus and method|
|US20130306190 *||Apr 6, 2011||Nov 21, 2013||Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Food & Packaging Machine Co., Ltd.||Rotary-type filling machine and method for calculating filling quantity for rotary-type filling machine|
|US20140299626 *||Feb 2, 2012||Oct 9, 2014||Cps Color Equipment Spa Con Unicon Socio||Apparatus for the delivery of fluid products|
|US20150177504 *||Dec 23, 2013||Jun 25, 2015||Sakura Finetek U.S.A., Inc.||Microscope with slide clamping assembly|
|US20150360227 *||Jun 16, 2015||Dec 17, 2015||Life Technologies Corporation||Pinch Flow Regulator|
|US20160144364 *||Jul 22, 2014||May 26, 2016||Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics Inc.||Reagent dispensers, dispensing apparatus, and methods|
|EP1724590A1 *||May 18, 2005||Nov 22, 2006||Tera Autotech Corporation||Fluid storage and injection mechanism for simultaneous analyzer|
|EP2087238A4 *||Nov 16, 2007||Mar 22, 2017||Nestec Sa||Metering pump for dispensing liquid|
|EP2378121A1 *||Apr 16, 2010||Oct 19, 2011||Veinux ApS||Pump element for a tube pump|
|EP2662138A1||May 8, 2012||Nov 13, 2013||Roche Diagniostics GmbH||Microfluidic dispenser, cartridge and analysis system for analyzing a biological sample|
|EP2919016A1 *||Feb 20, 2015||Sep 16, 2015||Stratec Biomedical AG||Dispenser|
|EP2947318A1 *||Apr 15, 2011||Nov 25, 2015||Veinux ApS||Pump element for a tube pump|
|WO2005000731A3 *||Jun 9, 2004||May 12, 2005||Dakocytomation Denmark As||Diaphram metering chamber dispensing systems|
|WO2006076957A1 *||Dec 19, 2005||Jul 27, 2006||Zengerle, Roland||Pipette tip, pipette device, pipette tip actuating device and pipetting method in the nanolitre range|
|WO2008063553A2 *||Nov 16, 2007||May 29, 2008||Vitality Food Service Inc.||Metering pump for dispensing liquid|
|WO2008063553A3 *||Nov 16, 2007||Aug 7, 2008||Vitality Food Service Inc||Metering pump for dispensing liquid|
|WO2009135378A1 *||Mar 17, 2009||Nov 12, 2009||Achim Philippe Zapp||Pouring device for dosing liquid|
|WO2010078420A2 *||Dec 30, 2009||Jul 8, 2010||Redhorse Fluidics||Systems, devices, methods and kits for fluid handling|
|WO2010078420A3 *||Dec 30, 2009||Sep 23, 2010||Redhorse Fluidics||Systems, devices, methods and kits for fluid handling|
|WO2011128440A1 *||Apr 15, 2011||Oct 20, 2011||Veinux Aps||Pump element for a tube pump|
|WO2013167584A1||May 7, 2013||Nov 14, 2013||Roche Diagnostics Gmbh||Microfluidic dispenser, cartridge and analysis system for analyzing a biological sample|
|WO2015052069A1 *||Oct 2, 2014||Apr 16, 2015||Roche Diagnostics Gmbh||Method to perform a measurement of an analyte in a sample using an automatic analyzer|
|WO2015084458A3 *||Sep 18, 2014||Sep 3, 2015||California Institute Of Technology||System and method for movement and timing control|
|U.S. Classification||141/1, 141/145, 141/130, 422/64, 422/501, 422/505|
|International Classification||B67D7/02, B01L99/00, G01N35/04, G01N35/10, G01N1/31, F16K15/14, F04B23/02, F04B43/08, F04B53/10, B05B11/00|
|Cooperative Classification||B05B11/3032, F16K15/144, B01L3/0293, G01N1/312, G01N35/1002, F04B23/025, F04B53/107, B67D7/0216, B05B11/3067, B05B11/007, G01N35/1016, F04B43/08, B05B11/0072, G01N2035/0443|
|European Classification||B05B11/30E6, B01L3/02H2, B05B11/00B9T, F04B43/08, G01N35/10A, F04B53/10F4F6A, F16K15/14H, F04B23/02C, B05B11/00B9R, B67D7/02C|
|Dec 12, 1997||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: CYTOLOGIX CORPORATION, MASSACHUSETTS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:BOGEN, STEVEN A.;LEOFFLER, HERBERT H.;REEL/FRAME:008854/0465
Effective date: 19970925
|Feb 28, 2000||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: TRANSAMERICA BUSINESS CREDIT CORPORATION, ILLINOIS
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:CYTOLOGIX CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:010648/0012
Effective date: 19991227
|Oct 30, 2001||CC||Certificate of correction|
|Jun 17, 2002||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: OXFORD BIOSCIENCE PARTNERS III L.P., MASSACHUSETTS
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:CYTOLOGIX CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:013000/0685
Effective date: 20020530
Owner name: OXFORD BIOSCIENCE PARTNERS III L.P.,MASSACHUSETTS
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:CYTOLOGIX CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:013000/0685
Effective date: 20020530
|Aug 20, 2002||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: CYTOLOGIX CORPORATION, MASSACHUSETTS
Free format text: TERMINATION OF SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:TRANSAMERICA TECHNOLOGY FINANCE CORPORATION SUCCESSOR ININTEREST TO TRANSAMERICA BUSINESS CREDIT CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:013193/0960
Effective date: 20020805
|Aug 22, 2002||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: CYTOLOGIX CORPORATION, MASSACHUSETTS
Free format text: TERMINATION OF SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:OXFORD BIOSCIENCE PARTNERS III L.P.;REEL/FRAME:013211/0579
Effective date: 20020816
Owner name: CYTOLOGIX CORPORATION,MASSACHUSETTS
Free format text: TERMINATION OF SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:OXFORD BIOSCIENCE PARTNERS III L.P.;REEL/FRAME:013211/0579
Effective date: 20020816
|Jan 30, 2003||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Oct 18, 2006||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8
|Apr 7, 2008||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: DAKO DENMARK A/S, DENMARK
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:CYTOLOGIX CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:020762/0402
Effective date: 20080407
Owner name: DAKO DENMARK A/S,DENMARK
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:CYTOLOGIX CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:020762/0402
Effective date: 20080407
|Mar 2, 2011||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 12